Animal Diaries Archive
january february march april may june july august september october november december
Dingoes Train Handlers
3 June 2005As we have previously written, the obedience training of our dingoes is an ongoing continual process. We train the dingoes for a variety of reasons, one of which is so we can easily walk them around the Zoo. Being able to walk them around the Zoo enables many things - they can receive more exercise by getting out of their enclosure, and it offers great enrichment opportunities. Doing obedience training with them is also great for their mental stimulation. It is said that dingoes are actually 30% smarter than domestic dogs, so they really do enjoy the challenges that training offers. As new handlers come on board the dingo train, we have found that training them is a little bit different from when the original dingo trainers were taught with Stephen Dawson. The main reason it differs is because the dingoes now know their stuff! When the original crew were learning, we had to be very distinct with our signals and body language so that the dingoes understood exactly what we wanted because they were learning it all too. Now that they know it, the new handlers have a bit of an advantage because the dingoes generally know what is wanted of them, although it has proven a bit of a disadvantage as well because the new handlers don't necessarily have to be a clean cut with their signals to get the desired result, which of course is a bit like 'cheating'! Stephen Dawson came back for a refresher course recently, and he helped to pick up on all the little things that we were not doing entirely correct. On the whole he was quite pleased with how the 'newbies' are going with their training, and he was very impressed with how the old gang and the dingoes are progressing. So, on the whole, go team dingo!